True story, absolute fact: I woke up with tears in my eyes this morning, just full on sobbing. I felt like I had all the weight of the world pressing down on me and like nothing would ever be better. I cried like I haven’t in as long as I can remember; without pretense, self-deceit, or restraint. Quite frankly, I’m afraid. I’m frightened out of my ever-loving mind. You see, my whole life I’ve been a destroyer; self-destructive and destructive of anything or anyone that got too close. I’ve always seemed to ruin everything good for myself, and pushed so many people away. I’ve excelled at it in fact, nearly elevating self-destruction to an art form.
I mean I’ve done well in some things: finishing school; memorizing the words to my favorite songs; learning how to ‘dap’ and to ‘wip and nay-nay’; binge eating 2500 calories in one sitting while binge watching GoT; and making it through 6 years in the Georgia prison system. You know, these are my accomplishments. And as accomplishments go, none are noteworthy except finishing my degrees (which, admittedly, I’m pretty proud of).
I believe I’ve begun to turn my life around, and I think I’ve begun to ameliorate my tendency towards self-destruction, but I still struggle. I am far too impulsive, far too bitter, and far too angry inside. I appear as a 26-year-old woman named Christina, but within me I still carry the very much still-alive, wronged and harmed 6-year-old Chris, who is so angry with the world and untrusting of the people in it. I lash out. I get angry and ugly. I try to do anything to not feel the hurt.
“I’VE BEEN WORKING SO HARD ON BEING A BETTER PERSON, A MORE OPEN AND TRUSTING PERSON, A LOVING, KIND PERSON.”
I think many people, including many trans people, can relate. It is my opinion that many, not all, are like this. I could be wrong; hell, I probably am. But I could be right, too. All I know is it’s not cool. It is not good for us or for anyone we bring around us. I’ve been working so hard on being a better person, a more open and trusting person, a loving, kind person. And I have seen great progress! I thank God for the advances I have made in healing and bettering myself, however I have a bit to go yet.
The reason I woke up sobbing my heart out is because I had hurt someone very dear to me. And it had snuck up on me and really sank into me what I had done. Probably the only person I’ve ever loved more than myself and I had hurt him. He is my best friend, my confidante, my lover, my counselor, my advisor, my snow bunny (haha, he hates when I call him that!). I doubted his loyalty, I distrusted his trustworthiness, and I demeaned his integrity. As long as I’ve known him, despite the fact that he has always been wonderful to me and never strayed from loyalty in all things, I lashed out because I let my fears consume me. And so there I was a 6 something in the morning, crying in bed. I cried so hard, like a wounded and dying animal. I kept asking myself, “What have you done? What the hell have you done, you rotten bitch?”
Yet I knew the answer. I had taken steps back towards the old, self-destructive me. I had begun reverting back to my ways of harming myself and others, for no good reason. I had lashed out, from irrational fear among other things, and hurt this man who cared about me more than anyone else. Shame on me.
But love is an amazing and clarifying thing, and so he sees me. He REALLY sees me; and was readily willing to accept my apology and forgive me. He showed me what I felt like I didn’t deserve: forgiveness, love, hope. He showed me that I mattered and he reminded me of how far I’ve come, what I’ve overcome, and that he wasn’t going anywhere. In his words, “We’re gonna ride this bitch out till the wheels fall off.”
From him I’m learning more about loving myself and others. From him I’m learning that my mistakes don’t define me, from him I’m learning real love is patience, kindness, and hope. He has been a personal messiah for me, regardless of however blasphemous that may sound to some. Also, he has reminded me, patiently and lovingly, that everyone makes mistakes. He reminded me that the victory is in pushing beyond those mistakes and still endeavoring to reach the finish line.
“I WILL ADMIT, I AM SO AFRAID OF MY PAST DESTRUCTIVENESS.”
I will admit, I am so afraid of my past destructiveness. I’m terrified I will lose him. I’m scared witless that I will ruin everything par my track record. But I’m learning, too, that we are more than destroyers, we can be creators, too. So I won’t live under the terms and conditions of my past pain or my current fears. You might have struggled in the past, just like me, while seeming to crumble every good thing that comes your way. But I need you to know this is NOT your truth. As we can destroy, we can create. It just takes purpose, hope, and desire. We don’t have to settle for being broken or breaking everything, we can be whole and be healers. This is called constructive.
It is well past time to put the pain, the anger, the distrust, the abuse, the fears, and all things else to rest. Let us no longer tear down (whether it be ourselves or others), but let us build up. Our truth is found not in destroying and punishing, but in constructing and healing. And so we begin with ourselves, no longer to be self-destructive but self-constructive. And once we get a handle on that, if ever, then we can see what more we can build to greatness. I am blessed in that I have had guidance and support, which I know won’t go away, but you don’t need someone else to help you surrender your darkness and live your light. In all cases, you must do this for you. I won’t lie though; love surely helps.
Either way, in short, I just want to say go those who can relate: stop living for yesterday’s pain and suffering. Stop destroying because of the hurt you have been through. Start living for the hopes and promises of today and tomorrow. Start living to ease the pain and suffering that you and other have been through. Cause, really, being a constructor beats being a destroyer any day. Live your life as though each moment is a chance to build magnificence edifices, and special moments of peace and happiness. God knows you deserve it.